Detroit Institute of Arts Wedding Inspiration

Planning a unique wedding amid the stately surroundings of the Detroit Institute of Arts may seem like a daunting task. How can you possibly improve upon the grandeur of one of nation’s best museums? From the glamorous Great Hall, to the mesmerizing Rivera Court and cozy Kresge Court, the DIA is chock-full of spaces to fit your vibe, if you’re willing to drop a few bucks. (Get a glimpse of rental fee and required caterer details here.)

Whether you’re aiming for a bright and airy or dark and moody fete, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite snaps from Detroit photography blogs (find direct links to each site within the image caption) to provide some inspiration.

And, if the below photos aren’t enough, you can find even more to look at at these links to amazing DIA weddings:

See our round-up of the best Detroit wedding venues – including the DIA – here.

 

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Source: Jessica-Johnston.com (now Jess & Nate Studios)

Source: Brides.com

Detroit Institute of Arts Wedding Reception, DIA Wedding Pictures

Source: KellieSaunders.com Photography

A Fixer-Upper Inspired Wedding

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I’m not sure if this wedding theme inspiration is surprisingly inventive, or means that I’ve simply been watching WAY too much reality TV, but I’m stuck on the idea of an event that takes its cues from two of my favorite renovators – Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Please tell me that you’re also a longtime fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Because if you’re not, I’m going to suggest that you go and set your DVR stat. And then maybe pick up their book, because I’ve read it and it’s stinking adorable.

Known for her laid-back attitude and ability to cultivate beautiful, family-friendly spaces that blend the border between functional and fabulous, Joanna has become a bit of mainstream trend setter in the home decor arena. Since the successful launch of the show, she’s picked up a branded paint, furniture line, rug line, and even wallpaper line. I mean, she sounds like a busy lady.

But for a moment, let’s focus on some of the key traits that we leaned on in developing this wedding theme gallery …

  • The Magnolia Leaf: The name of the Gaines business and a bit of a symbol in much of the work that they do.
  • Soft, Neutral Colors: That don’t overwhelm, and create livable, nature-infused spaces.
  • Relaxed Style: Comfort, whether it’s soft furnishings or even cozy clothing (like the wedding dress we’ve included below!).
  • Shiplap: Another tried-and-true decor element oft used by Joanna.
  • Deeper Meaning: A common thread in all of their work, we love that the team uses family photos and poems / verses that mean something to their clients.

What do you think? Feeling inspired yet? Scroll below to take a look at the ways that Fixer Upper has inspired this wedding palette, then let us know what you’d keep or toss in your own execution of a Fixer-Upper-Inspired Wedding …

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These I-want-to-save-mine-forever Magnolia leaf place cards, labeled in stunning calligraphy. And can we mention the gold flatware? Mmmhmm.

via Southern Weddings

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The chairs. The linen draping. The sweet floral tucked into each. Need we say more?

via Styletic 

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A naked cake that sits atop a bed of wild flowers and greens. What could be more elegant {and delicious}? Side note, I love the way that they’ve used a raw wooden stand here, so that it’s just barely visible.

via Rustic Wedding Chic

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This intricate, blouson wedding dress is the perfect blend of luxe and leisure, in a shape that’s flattering on most.

via BHLDN

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Let’s start with the milk glass goblets, because why wouldn’t we? Fill ’em with sparkling water, kept cold in galvanized tubs {brilliantly affordable}, and then let guests sip away as they admire your heirloom family photos, displayed on a living wall.

via Pinterest // Southern Weddings // PopSugar (Top-left, clockwise)

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This “Life Well Loved” sign comes from {no surprise here…} Magnolia Market, Chip and Jo’s online shop! For $84, we think it makes a great prop at your reception entry, and then for your own home after the Big Day.

via Magnolia Market

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I couldn’t not include this gorgeous vintage-door ceremony backdrop in this roundup, but for the love, I just can’t find a source for the photo online! If you know who deserves credit, please leave me a comment!

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And last, but most certainly not least: Shiplap. I love the idea of a white-washed, freestanding bar made using shiplap. Alas, no one has made one and appropriately optimized it for search engines yet 😉 Instead, consider a display wall like the one behind this adorable doughnut stand … or this raw, vertically laid bar, topped with copper lanterns.

via Etsy // Style Me Pretty

Best Wedding Reception Templates

Here in the Midwest, we’re getting our first real snowfall of the season, which means that I’ve been holed up in what is essentially a human snowglobe, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in our condo … staring out into the blizzards of downtown Detroit. It’s beautiful, really.

I thought that now – as I’m curled under a blanket and slowly sipping on a second glass of wine – would be the perfect time to highlight some of my favorite wedding reception templates over on Etsy.

If you’re prepping for a wedding and haven’t considered the digital template approach yet, let me take a moment to share a few pros and cons in the process. (Spoiler Alert: Templates are awesome.)

  • SAVE MONEY: Having custom place cards and menus created for your wedding, whether by a calligrapher or a local print shop, can cost quite a bit of money. I found that with some savvy template purchases, I was able to sink far less money into my paper products so that I could focus on the purchases that were far more important to me (gorgeous florals and wedding party gifts).
  • THE LUXE LOOK: Just because you’re saving money, doesn’t mean that it should be obvious. These templates are designed to look high-end and chic (with designs that mimic gold foil and marble, for example), and once they’re customized by you at home, no one will be able to tell that they weren’t designed and printed at a fancy shop.
  • REUSABLE: Yep. You can reuse digital templates well after your wedding for dinner parties, baby showers (you read that right 😉 and more. Additionally, I’ve found that some of the inexpensive tools I purchased to make using templates easier have come in handy several times since my wedding. I use my “paper slicer” from Michael’s more than I’d care to admit…
  • NO CRAFTING SKILLS NEEDED: Skilled crafters need not apply! No, really. This doesn’t take creativity, folks. It simply takes a printer, some card stock from your local Michael’s or Staples, and a pair of scissors or a paper slicer. Is your bridesmaid or mother-in-law-to-be asking how they can help? Here’s your chance.

Now that we’ve covered what makes templates easy, let’s look at some of our favorites:

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LINKS (Top to Bottom): Gold Foil Style Place Cards | Marble Menu Template | Simple Black Border Place Card Template | Gold Foil Style Menu Template | Merlot Watercolor Place Card Template | Set of Gold Wedding Reception Printables

Have you used templates and printables as you prepare for your Big Day or surrounding events? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

{Finally} Creating Our Wedding Album

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It’s taken me six months, but I’m happy to report that our wedding album is complete, and enjoying its new home on the living room coffee table.

Shortly after I had received the digital image files from our awesome photographer, Alyssa over at Studio Phrene, I began researching websites that would let me create a high-quality album online, and on my own.

There are a handful of options – MyPublisher (which I used for our guest book and loved), Milk Books, Pik Perfect – but I kept coming back to a site called Zno for what I felt was the best looking product, offering the greatest value.

By crafting an album myself (versus paying our photographer to create one), the control-freak in me had free reign. Of course, I also spent WAY too much time debating and replacing images … but it was a project that I enjoyed, and the Zno site was actually quite simple to use in comparison to other publishing software I’ve dealt with.

For roughly $300, which is still a ton of money to pay for a – ahem – book, we received our final product less than two weeks after ordering it. And it turned out beautifully. I snapped some photos of the final result to give you an idea of the size, page thickness and paper quality that I selected, but there are plenty of options available for the other picky wives among us.

Most important to me was finding a company that offered large sizes (ours is a hefty 11″ x 14″), and lay-flat, extra thick pages. However, I’ve seen some gorgeous leather and suede covers, and even metal covers, that look equally impressive. All this is really the beauty of tackling an album yourself – ultimate freedom in terms of design.

Would you create a wedding album yourself? Or have you already? I’d love your feedback in the comments!

Note: This post is not sponsored and is completely based on my own opinion and shopping experience. 

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FREE DOWNLOAD: Gold Menu Template

 

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My, how time flies when you’re wedding planning! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since I last checked in to the site … but here I am, knee-deep in wedding projects and work travel, with a mile-long list of nuptial to-dos.

Keep calm. That’s the motto of the day. The week. The month. There’s a honeymoon on the horizon, I keep reminding myself 😉

The good news is that we’ve already checked off quite a few of the items on that list. One of the most recent ones is creating and printing menus. While a printed menu is hardly necessary – especially when there’s nothing to choose from, since guests selected their entree with the RSVP – it’s a pretty little touch to the table that I appreciate. PLUS, we’ll have the napkins folded around these bad boys, making them a critical part of the table design! (I’m laughing as I refer to the menus and napkins as “critical,” I promise.)

I mocked up this simple template at home and took it up to FedEx for printing out. It’s designed to print out on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of cardstock (as you know, I prefer 110 lb.), and sliced right down the center to create two menus per sheet of paper.

The only un-editable portion is the faux gold foil “menu” at the top of the page. You can change and update the body of the  menu with whatever design or font your feast-focused mind can conjure up.

And for you, I’ve slapped it into a Word doc. Because us brides have better things to do than format in Photoshop; am I right? Download the document by entering in your email beneath the below images. We’ll send you the download link shortly!

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***We’re sorry; our free download period has come to an end!***

BUT, we’ve got good news! Pop over to our Etsy “Shop Clickity” Store and purchase our template for only $1.99 using code “PINTEREST” – that’s a $3 discount for our Pinterest visitors 🙂

Or, check out Bride Guide Detroit’s other Free Printables here! 

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Want to grab the matching place cards, too? (They’ve got a lovely faux gold foil border!) Simply pop over to my Etsy page and download the template for only $4 using discount code BGDETROIT. You’re welcome! 😉

DIY: A Welcome Wedding Entry

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I’ve been eyeing wedding welcome signs on Pinterest and Etsy for a while now, so it should come as no surprise that I attempted a DIY version before I settled on hiring a calligrapher or printer to create a custom option.

In the little, sneak peek above, you can see a glimpse of what I’ve been working on. (You can also see that I’ve totally copy-catted the font styling used on many Pinterest examples – oops!)

Are you considering a similar strategy? Here are my quick tips.

Find a frame. This flea market find was picked up by my brother, at my request, and used for my niece’s graduation (after the removed the ancient print within it). I dug it out of the basement and painted the inner border – formerly an off-white linen – using gold craft paint.

Grab some craft store foam core board. Michael’s offered this black version in a tri-fold science fair style that fit perfectly within this frame – no trimming needed!

Pick up a paint pen and get to work. I opted for white pens in medium and thick tips, which I used to trace over my original pencil draft. Underneath the “welcome,” we have our names, as well as the times for cocktail hour, dinner service and dessert.

We’ll be propping this bad boy up on one of our vendor’s easels near the reception entry, where guests can get a quick timeline check (in case they’re starving) while sipping champagne.

Looking for extra oomph? I love the idea of floral or garland draped atop the frame…

Free Download: Wedding Hashtag Sign

Mock Up Wedding Hashtag

Are you planning to promote a wedding hashtag?

I’m on the fence about this one. It’s feels a little overdone, right? But at the same time, it’s a simple solution to today’s dilemma – an overabundance of wedding photos snapped, uploaded and shared  – without any central location to view them all. (And YOU know I’m gonna want to see all of those shots.)

If you’re planning to promote a hashtag, here’s a simple little download that you can open using Word and simply type in the tag of your choice.

I like the idea of printing out this simple sheet and positioning it in a few high traffic areas, placed in an ornate gold or silver leaf frame. Want to add a little oomph? Pair some photo props beside it… guests are sure to pick up and play along after a glass or two of vino 😉

To download, simply click the following link, open and edit in Microsoft Word:
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Don’t have a clue how to hashtag your big day? I like this little wedding hashtag generator, which whips up some good suggestions based on your names and wedding date.

Enjoy!

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Crafting the perfect cocktail napkin

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Custom cocktail napkins are hardly necessary at a wedding, but we all agree they’re an adorable touch, right?

I’ve been perusing sites for a while, in search of a sweet (but not too cheesy) option that I haven’t seen used at other weddings. Low and behold, when I landed on a site I hadn’t heard of before – ForYourParty.com – I stumbled upon several clever designs that I hadn’t seen elsewhere.

One of the options that I loved most was the “linen like” texture (versus the flat with crimped-edge napkin that we typically see), which was available at the same price point as the standard napkins.

Ordering was breezy and the  napkins (in black with white font) arrived not too long ago, looking sharp as can be. Now, these pretty little paper goods will sit tucked away until the big day.

Another item off the check list… feels good.

{And, if you’re reading the day that I post this, Black Friday, there’s a promotion for 25% all orders – woohoo! Most other days, you can sign up for their email list to score 10% off your first purchase.}

Free Printable: Gold Stripe Table Numbers

 

BGD_Gold Table Numbers

When it comes to budgeting, it’s the little things – like table numbers! – that we can sometimes forget about. No worries. We’ve got you covered with these sweet print out table identifiers. And the best part? They’re free.

Simply grab some white or off-white cardstock from a store like Michael’s (don’t forget your 40 percent off coupon by using their app or weekend circular!) and get to printing! You can either support each table number in a wire photo stand, for which you’ll want to print two of each table number and place back-to-back, so that they’re visible from either side – or – you can place into 5×7 photo frames at each table.

This particular design will look divine with any warm-tone or simplistic black-and-white wedding theme.

Scroll down to enter your email and instantly download these lovelies!

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{Free printable: Created and distributed by Bride Guide: Detroit}